Another Government/Private Sector Pay Comparison

March 5, 2010

Still not convinced that government workers make more than their counterparts in the private sector? A new USA Today report may help convince you. The paper’s recently released analysis of federal data notes some interesting details.

I’ve written on the pay gap several times before (here and here and here), but this new report explicitly shows a side-by-side comparison of like jobs. It found that in 83 percent of jobs, the average federal pay is higher — not to even mention the disparity in benefits. For example, the average secretary working for the federal government made $44, 500 in 2008, while the average private-sector secretary made only $33, 829 — a disparity of more than $10,000.

Here is a sample from a chart from the report:

Job Federal Private Difference
Airline pilot, copilot, flight engineer $93,690 $120,012 -$26,322
Broadcast technician $90,310 $49,265 $41,045
Budget analyst $73,140 $65,532 $7,608
Chemist $98,060 $72,120 $25,940
Civil engineer $85,970 $76,184 $9,786
Clergy $70,460 $39,247 $31,213
Computer, information systems manager $122,020 $115,705 $6,315

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, USA TODAY analysis

As I’ve noted before, free from market forces, government (particularly the federal government with its ability to print more money) manages to escape the need to actually provide services in an efficient manner. The taxpayers are stuck paying for the bloated payroll and benefits.

Can any of this be justified in a time of recession when the unemployment rate is still near 10 percent? Can it even be justified in a time of economic boom? Doubtful.


Government v. Private-Sector Compensation

November 3, 2009

Earlier this year I wrote about government employee benefits in Florida outpacing private-sector benefits — particularly noteworthy in a time of recession. Now comes an interesting analysis comparing average federal government wages and total compensation to those in the private sector.

 In an update from a previous post, the Cato Institute‘s Chris Edwards notes the following:

The new data show that average federal compensation is now more than double the average in the private sector.

Here is his graph displaying the average difference since 2000:

He also created a graph comparing just the average wages. He used data from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.

In a time of economic downturn, the stark contrast between the government and the private sector is a bit worrisome — especially to those recently experiencing pay cuts or a layoff. But government doesn’t often face the same pressures as the private sector. It isn’t required to be competitive in order to stay in business; it can simply raise taxes or print or borrow money.

Ironically, all of that taxing, printing and borrowing in one way or another reduces private investment in things like jobs and higher compensation packages. Taxing takes that money directly. Printing reduces the value of that money. Borrowing diverts that money and eventually leads to higher taxation or more printing.

The Printing Press Working Overtime!

March 25, 2009

Here is a a chart showing the level of money printed from 1910 to this year. Notice the dramatic upswing recently — thanks to the bailout craze!


Now here’s a video from Glenn Beck on the same subject: